Friday, 18 November 2011

Ta Da!!

**If by any chance you are my mother, stop reading and LOOK AWAY now!!**


My son says it every time he finishes or wants to show us something, so to borrow his current favourite phrase...

Ta Da!
Here is my finished Dead Simple Quilt!



I thoroughly enjoyed being part of Lynne's Dead Simple Quilt Along over at Lily's Quilts and I learned a lot about solids and palettes, so thank you so much to Lynne for running such a fun and different QAL and thank you to everyone that took part for the inspiration and encouragement!

I did some organic straight line free motion quilting and it's not bad for a first attempt, although far from perfect!

 

I used Kona Charcoal for the binding and a grey thread for the quilting because I wanted to give it a modern feel and make it a bit more masculine so my step Dad can use it too!!
It's really hard to show the colours of the solids so I also took some pictures indoors to get an idea of how it changes in the light:



And the little girl couldn't keep her hands off it!! But this one is a Christmas present for my mum!


I'm very excited by this finish, I loved working with the solid fabrics (with a few patterns on the back) and really enjoyed putting it together. I'm linking up to finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Finished It Friday at Stitching by Starlight and TGIFF, which is over at Bending Pins this week!




 


Finished it Fridays!

I'm also linking up to Leah at The Free Motion Quilting Project because she's exploring modern quilting and I think this is a modern quilt!

Yes I am that proud!! ;)

That's it on the making front, apart from my aforementioned son's school were raising money for Children In Need today so they were allowed to wear spots to school! This is easily done with hair accessories for a girl, but a boy?! So this is the result:


Lastly but most excitingly (what??!!!)... I had a good post and news day!

This gorgeous fabric arrived from the very kind Kaelin over at The Plaid Scottie, she knew I couldn't get it here in the UK and I just adore her Sweet Caroline Quilt. Thank you so much Kaelin! It makes me smile so much :)


I also won 2 giveaways and found out today!! One is 8 products for my sewing kit from Korbond, I'm really looking forward to getting it (partly because it will be a nice surprise, can't quite remember what I picked but I spent ages choosing!). I entered this competition on the sewing directory and it's well worth checking out if you're in the UK, there's so much cool stuff on there!

The second giveaway was from Crazy Old Ladies, I was one of the winners of ten fat quarters of Emily's newest line for Michael Miller 'Hall of Fame'. It looks gorgeous and will be available to buy towards the end of January/February:



Just look at those plaids, stripes and hoops, I adore the numbers too!! I hope she doesn't mind me using the pictures but I had to share!! You can read more about it and Emily's design ideas here, she also has some great patterns so you should check it out :)
I've never had anything so new before and I'm super excited to receive it!! I loved her Going Coastal collection but haven't got my hands on any yet - those prints (esp. crabs and bottle caps) are calling to me though - maybe a treat to myself after Christmas?!

Oops, how could I forget... I did one more sewing thing, here's my fmq practice for Free Motion Friday at Fluffy Sheep Quilting:

front
back
I thought I would hate this but I actually had a lot of fun, all the encouragement you guys gave me last week meant I felt more relaxed and wasn't bothered about being perfect (good job too!!). I suck at travelling, whether it's straight lines or curves, I can't seem to go over myself properly - I'm sure I can get better though. I like the pattern, they are like little aliens (rather than water molecules, which they're meant to be!) but I enjoyed doing it and this could be fun on a kids quilt in a small area (unless you have a mountain of thread you need to use up!). Honestly I'm really looking forward to next weeks superstar, it looks amazing! If you've not tried free motion quilting this is a great way to try it and join in the fun, please go and take a look at Cindy's post to find out more about Free Motion Friday!

If you're still reading well done and sorry for the ramble, I'm so excited about all the goodies and I think that the universe is showing me I'm on the right path! I'm on my chocolate comedown now but I was harking on about how much I love quilting yesterday!! I've never been so lucky but then I've never been so grateful for finding a hobby that I love and bloggy friends who give me so much support. Thank you.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Thoughtful Thanks for Thursday

I've actually done some sewing that's not a quilt!! hehehehe!
I wanted to make some oven gloves as a Christmas present so it was a great coincidence that Sara at Sew Sweetness is hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner Challenge. It gave me a deadline so I would actually get it done. I ended up making two, both patterns were suggested by Sara so that took some of the guesswork out for me!! Thanks Sara ;)
This is my first attempt at oven gloves but I'm pretty happy with them:


For the oval one I used this tutorial from buggspot. I realise the binding I used doesn't really match but I could not be bothered making any and it's what I had lying around (you may well see more of it in the future!!). I have to say I actually already made square sandwiches (as in the tutorial used below) and then  cut the oval shape out, so I didn't follow the tutorial exactly. I had initially planned on making two like the one below but then changed my mind and thought I'd try the oval because it's a bit different! The tutorial was very easy to follow and it was fun to make!


This one is my mullet oven glove, business in front.., party in the back :) I used this great tutorial from the highly entertaining Raechel Myers.
I did fmq spirals on both and while I like it I didn't do a great job and next time I think I'd stick to straight lines!

I've also taken some pictures of my Drunkard's Path Quilt to show you. I'm sticking to a pretty layout I saw on Kate's blog Needle and Spatula, while you're there go and take a look at the Drunkard's Path Quilt Along and join in the fun! I chose this layout because the quilt will be a gift for my mother-in-law and I think it goes nicely with the fabrics:




I am enjoying making these blocks FAR more than I thought I would!! Honestly I thought Drunkard's Path would be so difficult and I would hate it but I fancied a challenge. So glad I decided to join the QAL, it has given me confidence and all the posts have been fantastic. The button is on the right over there so have a click and if you can't join now bookmark it for the future, you'll be so glad you did!
I know I've already babbled on to a few of you about how much fun this is but it is!! Easy too :)

I have been thinking about how much quilting is changing my life (dramatic?... maybe but true). It's so lovely to have found a hobbie that I enjoy so much. I love having the ability to make stuff, tangible things that I piece together! I have been pinning the binding on my Dead Simple quilt ready for sewing and as I sat (watching Bones - oh boy do I love that show), I was thinking I actually love doing this. I love pinning on binding. I love sewing it on (I do machine sew it, so shoot me!!), I love making patchwork, I love constructing blocks, I love choosing fabric... get the jist?! I'm trying to think of something I don't like about it (other than the odd fmq pattern). Sometimes I'm overwhelmed at the thought of cutting 200 squares or whatever but once I get in the swing of it I always enjoy myself.
Also it's less dangerous than my last hobby, Rollerderby - once I broke my elbow I had to rethink my priorities, changing a nappy one handed was not fun!

I'm one happy quilter linking up to Thursday Think Tank when rebecca is ready, if she's feeling well enough - maybe you could all go show her some love :)



p.s. Clearly I'm not PMSing anymore!!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Slowly, slowly catchee monkey

I want to start by thanking everyone that commented on my miserable post on Friday! Sincerely, thank you. I've been eating chocolate ever since ;)

I've been making some progress and then a magical angel (my cousin in California) sent me this:



I don't think anything could spur me on more! I'm totally in love with it! It's pretty big but I really want to make it into a big giant cushion!! Is this a crazy idea? Would it work? Should I use light interfacing or attach it onto some medium weight fabric to make it stronger? Anyone who has made cushions, help me please!! Am I better making it a wall hanging? Having said all that I may well keep it to use on a quilt just for me!! :)

I'm linking up to Making Christmas at Rainbow Hare Quilts a little late this week but I've been making progress with my presents :)

Photobucket

Also linking up to WIP Wednesday because I have a few things on the go and still need some nudging!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Completed: 

- An oven glove! It's not perfect but it's fun :) I'll show you tomorrow!

Ongoing:


- Dead Simple Quilt, just needs binding so in the final stretch!
- Drunkard's Path Quilt - 2/9 blocks complete
- Do Not Compute - 11/30 blocks complete... really?!!! I've counted about 3 times, I thought I'd done far more than this. Do I get an award for taking ages to put together a quilt?! I'm totally blaming that folder that I thought was a good idea, ok it helps keep the pieces organised but out of sight, out of mind. May need to buy a see-through folder!!

No Progress:


- Secret quilt
- Quilts for nieces, although the fabric arrived!
- Baby quilt for boy (forgot this one until I looked at my list for Making Christmas, so thanks Janine!!)

Stats:


Completed: 1
New: 0 (well 1 if you count the one I forgot!!)
Currently in Progress: 4


Friday, 11 November 2011

I'm wearing tights

I'm linking up to the wonderful Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting :) for the great experiment that is Free Motion Friday!

I love doing this, I do but honestly I'm despairing. I'm getting worse. Fmq is not my friend right now *pouts*
Here's my go at pine needles:


I mean really. I can't even follow a line!! The first 3 lines are not even going in different directions because I was concentrating so hard I forgot that bit!! The 2nd column I did backwards (away from me) hoping that might help - clearly not. Here's the back:


Huh?? I've not had anything to drink (maybe that's the problem) but no matter how I tried it it wouldn't work!
I do really love this pattern so it's a shame this is crap but I tried and I think I'll call this pine leaves ;) Not one I'll be using though!
Nor will I ever use stomach lining because I simply can't do it. Last week I said I'd try again (why??!) so I did:


It's like a carnation made of jelly! oh well.

After that failed attempt I thought I'd have one more shot at doing straight lines and pine needles. I sewed a solitary pine tree:


Now I think this one is kind of cute!! The answer may lie in me sewing outside the box.

Am I better at lines or curves?? Neither but I'm hoping to improve and next week will certainly be a challenge. I've got so much to do but this week I really want to take some time each day when I can to practice rather than leaving it until the last minute. I did this at 2.00pm today!

I wore tights while I did this fmq (yes I realise that may be a lame excuse but I'm taking anything I can!!) so I'm going to take them off now and try to do more fmq lines on my Dead Simple quilt :)


p.s.  Honestly I think I'm usually quite cheery and positive, this might be a little too much information and I really apologise but want to explain that I think I'm PMSing really badly so sorry for being grouchy the past few days. Sometimes it's hard to be a woman.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

All I can think about...

...is getting this finished




Linking up to TTT at making rebecca lynne:


Thursday Think Tank


Not enough progress

On a good note my order from Above All Fabric has arrived :) I won a $25 gift certificate from the lovely Carla at Sew It Up, Baby! I got a couple of Terrain charm packs and I also ordered some extra, white solid and fabulous pink and orange Ta Dots!


I'm going to use these making quilts for my nieces but boy, oh boy do I have a lot to do before then. I almost don't know where to start?!

I've been cutting for the Drunkard's Path QAL


Once I'd done a bit of that I thought I should actually do some practice:


See those bottom right seams, yeah not good! So I kept trying and got better (this has not been pressed!):


I'm at least confident I can do it now and I actually had a lot of fun doing the practicing. I think I'll be able to get into a rhythm of sewing them. I went on to do a couple but realised I wasn't really concentrating so I halted for the day after doing this:


I mean honestly, it's not rocket science. Maybe not enough coffee?! I plan on doing more tomorrow when I'm focused!

I'm way too tired to do stats this week and right now I have to finish this:


And then contemplate whether I've bitten off more than I can chew before Christmas!! I'll be so upset if I can't finish everything I want to... plus I'll have no presents to give!

Feeling a little lack lustre and hoping for some gentle support (not a kick, just maybe a nudge!) so linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, who has been running this wonderful linky party for a year! Congratulations and thank you Lee!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced



Monday, 7 November 2011

Lazy Monday afternoon

I have had a fabulous weekend celebrating my Dad's 65th birthday in a gorgeous part of the world, Pembrokeshire in Wales.


I don't have any pictures from the party yet but here's a couple from the beach near to where we stayed. A little bit of kissing:


And a lot of our children running round like wild things!


Obviously since I've been busy playing, dancing (one song, I got dragged up on the dance floor!) and drinking (the kids were in bed and the husband was minding them!!), there wasn't too much time for sewing (or blog reading, there was no Wireless - ??!!!! - so I promise to catch up as quickly as I can). I did manage to make two more of those zip pouches using the noodlehead tutorial before we went away. I used the same fabrics and lining because I had just enough of each left and I think they worked well.



This time, however, I did a little bit of quilting. On the pink one I just outlined some of the flower shapes and on the squares I did the odd vertical line going in between the squares. I really like the effect:




I will be giving these ones as Christmas presents too. Don't forget if your making any gifts or anything Christmas related to link up to Making Christmas at Rainbow Hare Quilts, I am!!



I also had a lovely surprise when I arrived home, I had unknowingly won a giveaway (you gave your address when you entered so it could be sent straight out if you won)! I entered a giveaway at The Sewing Directory and won a metre of my chosen fabric from Dragonfly Fabrics. They have a fantastic selection of different fabrics and I chose this:



I was absolutely thrilled and it is even more gorgeous in real life - just look at those cute critters! I'm totally in love with the hedgehog! The fabric came beautifully wrapped and I was so happily surprised by how quickly it was sent.

I was thinking of trying to make a top or something for my daughter, any ideas or easy patterns you could recommend?